Current Issue

STEM Education News

August 21, 2014

In This Issue:

Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program Accepting Applications for 2015-2016 Fellowship Year

The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship (AEF) Program is now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 Fellowship Year. Program applications are due by 5:00 pm EST, November 20, 2014, and must be submitted through an online application system.

The AEF Program provides a unique opportunity for accomplished K-12 educators in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to serve in the national education arena. Fellows spend 11 months working in a Federal agency or U.S. Congressional office, bringing their extensive classroom knowledge and experience to STEM education program and/or education policy efforts.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • be U.S. citizens,
  • currently employed full-time in a U.S. public or private elementary or secondary school or school district, and
  • must have taught full-time in a public or private elementary or secondary school for at least five of the last seven years in a STEM discipline.

Federal sponsors have included the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The DOE sponsors up to four placements in U.S. Congressional offices.

The AEF Program is managed by the DOE Office of Science, Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists, in collaboration with the Triangle Coalition for STEM Education and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.

Information about the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program, including eligibility requirements, program benefits, application requirements, and access to the online application system can be found at

For any questions, please contact the AEF Program at


Triangle Coalition Kicks Off #SustainingSTEM Series with Webinar Monday

Triangle Coalition for STEM Education logoOn Monday, August 25, Triangle Coalition for STEM Education will begin its #SustainingSTEM series with a webinar on collaborative community partnerships that support and advance STEM initiatives. During the presentation, entitled Sustaining STEM Education through Partnerships, presenters Elena Lien and Laurel Brent will discuss how the Chemical Educational Foundation (CEF) fosters and sustains science education programming, such as its You Be The Chemist Challenge, by establishing community partnerships between industry, educators and students throughout the U.S. Providing an educators perspective, Rachel Lawrence will share about her experience sustaining and propelling the STEM movement in her local community, Rowan-Salisbury, North Carolina, and partnering with industry as a 2014 Kenan Fellow in Innovative Teaching Practices. Participants will leave with community outreach strategies to assist in initiating and securing partner support. Register here.

The #SustainingSTEM series will continue with a second webinar presentation on September 8, and culminate at the 14th Annual STEM Education Conference, October 8-10 in Washington, DC. This series is designed to facilitate a dialogue around current and future opportunities, challenges and next steps for maintaining the momentum of the STEM education movement. With STEM education now a much-debated and, perhaps, much-hyped topic, STEM advocates must consider whether we are nearing the zenith of interest in STEM and whether current efforts to expand student access are as inclusive as they should be. Triangle Coalition’s conference, Sustaining STEM: Maintaining the Movement, Widening the Circle, will seek to answer these questions and more in order to address what must be done to ensure STEM remains a national priority. Conference strands will include: sustaining STEM through partnerships; building momentum in unexpected places – broadening participation among the underserved; and planning for the STEM paradigm of the future. To learn more about the 14th Annual STEM Education Conference, visit


Legislative Update:
Support Grows for the Educating Tomorrow’s Engineers Act

The Educating Tomorrow’s Engineers Act (ETEA), introduced as H.R. 2426, S. 1178 in June 2013, recently gained five new congressional cosponsors as well as additional organizational supporters. Thirty-five organizations, including Triangle Coalition and many of its members, have signed on in support of the bill. Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), who originally introduced ETEA with Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter at the end of July inviting fellow members of Congress to cosponsor. “This legislation is an important step in ensuring that STEM skills allow our workforce to continue to lead the global economy, and that they become accessible to children in every school in every zip code across our country,” writes Tonko. In the House, ETEA now has 19 co-sponsors, four of whom are republicans. Full article


Study Reveals Gap in Specific STEM Skills (U.S. News and World Report)

According to a recent Brookings Institution Study, the much-debated STEM labor shortage is more of an issue of quality rather than quantity. In Wednesday’s U.S. News and World Report article, Eliza Krigman examines Jonathan Rothwell’s report, Still Searching: Job Vacancies and STEM Skills, including some of his conclusions and recommendations. Rothwell analyzed job vacancy data to gain insight into the supply and demand of specific STEM skills. “There is a whole range of jobs that require STEM skills,” Burning Glass CEO Matt Sigelman says. “It’s important to look at the STEM market not as jobs that label themselves as science jobs but rather jobs that require STEM skills.” Rothwell asserts that training and education, especially for working adults, must be reevaluated to emphasize skills over degrees in the 21st century. Full article


Member Spotlight:
Thousands in Cash Prizes Available in Verizon Innovative App Challenge

Student teams across the nation are now invited to create novel ideas for the mobile app marketplace in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. The competition offers middle and high school students the opportunity to apply their STEM knowledge and submit an idea for a mobile technology application that can be used to solve a societal or community problem. Registration for this contest is now open, and eight teams will win “Best in Nation” honors, each earning a $20,000 cash grant for their school.

No app building experience is necessary! Only an app idea is required for submission by a faculty advisor, who guides a team of five to seven students in the conceptualization process. This is the third year for this exciting competition by the Verizon Foundation, in partnership with the Technology Student Association. Registration and entry instructions can be found on the Verizon Innovative App Challenge website.


Legislative Update:
Senate Bill to Reauthorize COMPETES Act (FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News)

Before leaving for the summer recess six Democratic senators introduced a 150-page bill to reauthorize the America COMPETES Act for the next five fiscal years, setting funding ceilings for the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Science Foundation.  Other provisions of S. 2757 authorize STEM education, nanotechnology, optics, and other programs to increase American competitiveness.  The legislation also includes provisions on NSF’s peer review process, administrative burdens associated with grants, family leave policy in federal research agencies, and participation in scientific conferences. Read more in FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News.